"THE SUN, THE SEA, A TOUCH OF THE WIND" by Rosa Guy

"THE SUN, THE SEA, A TOUCH OF THE WIND"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An angry, once-abused woman painter almost disintegrates, then experiences a last-minute healing in an equally abused place--mid-70s Haiti: the emotional, scattershot newest from Trinidadian-born Guy (My Love, My Love, or the Peasant Girl, 1985, etc.) Jonnie Dash, a beautiful African-American artist, having sold a painting for a half-million dollars (an interesting but never explained event) goes to Haiti to see her old lover and Pygmalion, G‚rard. G‚rard was married when she first met him years before in an interracial salon in New York; now that he's widowed and available, though, Jonnie is no longer sure she loves him. Troubled by painful memories and disturbing blackouts, she flees to her favorite hotel in Haiti. Like one of those generic airport, airplane, and ship settings, this ""old Hotel"" is frequented by a range of characters whom Jonnie seduces, befriends, attacks, and fears. It's the Watergate era, which gives Jonnie a chance not only to pontificate on the infamy of the US and obnoxious Americans abroad, but on Haitian and African history as well. She also recalls her life as an orphan, her rape by a Catholic priest, life on New York streets, the drawings of sexual organs that made her famous, a failed marriage, and a son shot and killed by the police as he ran away from a bungled burglary. Amid all this are encounters with sinister Haitians and arrogant whites; raunchy sex with Stephan, toy-boy of wealthy friend Jessica; pursuit by a nasty foreign service officer who uses the notorious Tonton Macoute to help him find Lucknair, the small boy he's in love with; puzzling deaths; and the improbable rescue of Lucknair that, together with Jonnie's affair with a black revolutionary, will apparently save her. Somewhere within this clutter of melodramatic action and attitude there lurks an interesting heroine with an interesting story to tell, but, sadly, she's not easy to find.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1995
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dutton